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The Powers Of Platos Tripartite Psychology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assumes that the simples in the soul are the reasoning, spirited and appetitive parts, it proposes that the objects that they naturally act on and are affected by are not restricted to the characteristic desires and pleasures Socrates attributes to these parts at Republic 580d-81c, those of truth to the reasoning part; those of honor to the spirited part; and those of food-drink-sex etc., and money, which is a means to these, to the appetitive part. The chapter draws a distinction between the characteristic object of a part and the natural object of a power. It provides textual grounds for, and philosophical elaboration of, the related ideas of a natural object and the power that is set over it. The author account of Plato's tripartite psychology vindicates his faith in the ideal city's educational programme and in the prospect of a harmonious condition of virtue.

Keywords: natural objects; Plato's tripartite psychology; Socrates



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